Audi is showing some much-needed support to the 2019 and 2020 e-tron 55 quattros. In a free software update announced today, they have enabled over 12 miles of extra range on those older models.

What this equates to is a near 5% range increase for EVs that could only reach 212 miles of range at launch.

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How to get the update

The software update for the 2019 and 2020 Audi e-tron 55 quattro can only be applied by visiting an Audi service center. The service employees can manually install the update to your vehicle on-site.

Now, if you have one of the latest e-trons, you don’t have to worry.

Audi’s most recent e-trons and e-tron Sportback all come standard with today’s software upgrade pre-installed. They obviously have newer hardware as well, which allows them to reach upwards of 270 miles on a single charge.

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Reinvigorating the e-tron 

For the older e-tron 55 quattros, the change adds as much as 12.43 extra miles of range.

How are they able to achieve this?

Well, the new software update addresses three key areas that previously limited the range on those older models. Those would be the accessible battery capacity, front motor optimization, and battery cooling optimization.

Audi had previously limited those early e-trons to 83.6 of the entire 93kWh used to be available. Today’s software update frees that up a bit, allowing the early e-trons to access 86kWh.

Audi has also optimized the front motor, which now only engages when needed.

“In normal driving mode, the motor attached to the rear axle is responsible for propulsion. For improved efficiency, the front electric motor is now almost completely disconnected and powered off—and only when more power is needed do both motors come into play. This makes it possible to even more effectively exploit the major advantage of the asynchronous motor concept, i.e., currentless operation without electrical drag losses.”

— Audi

The last thing Audi tweaked was the thermal management system. With lower thermals comes greater performance, especially when it comes to battery heat.

“The highly flexible thermal management system, which consists of four separate circuits, regulates the temperature of the high-voltage components even more efficiently. Modifying the control system made it possible to reduce the volume flow rates in the coolant circuit, thus reducing energy consumption. The cooling system is the basis for fast DC charging, long battery life, and consistent driving performance, even under high loads.”

— Audi

It really is quite remarkable that you can squeeze extra range and performance out of a vehicle via software updates. While the change isn’t as drastic as buying a new car entirely, it certainly breathes new life into an electric vehicle.